Globally, about 15 million girls are married off while young meaning a child is married off every 2 seconds.Plan UKIn Samburu, Isiolo, Marsabit and Laikipia counties, after girls have undergone FGM, they are expected to get married immediately the following day. The fact that they are still children does not exempt them from such a heavy responsibility. Marriage for girls can lead to complications in pregnancy and childbirth, one of the main causes of death of young girls aged 15-19 in Kenya.
Feature Story: Jane Lalwani*
My Name is Jane and I am 8 years old. I am the second born in our family of 6. I have both of my parents and I used to stay with them. Unfortunately, my parents did not want me and the other girls to go to school. Our elder sister was married off to an old man. She did not deem it right. So she ran away and took refuge to Samburu Girls Foundation. My father did not want to give back the cows he got for dowry, so he decided that I should get married in my sister’s place. I was 7 years old at the time. I was going to be taken to my new husband’s place when I was rescued. Our neighbour helped me ran away because my father completely refused to take me back to school. She brought me to Samburu Girls Foundation where I was in a safe place and I am now continuing with my education. I was to be somebody’s wife, but now I am back to being a schoolgirl again. I like reading and I promise I will be number one.